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MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Progress M-20M cargo ship, due to fly to the International Space Station on July 28, will deliver food supplies to the ISS crew, from tea to smoked sausages and mayonnaise, but dumplings and fried potatoes will only appease the palate of those who are staying back on Earth, a nutrition expert said in comments on diet for astronauts.
"There is nothing here that comes by chance; the crew have specific rations," head of the nourishment department at the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems /IMBP/, Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Agureyev told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
This month, extra packages of fresh fruit and vegetables will be brought to the ISS. "This time, they will include grapefruits, apples and onions. Also, the crew will enjoy garlic-spiced smoked sausages and Provanсal mayonnaise.
As a rule, in selecting foodstuffs, nutrition experts take into account the wishes of all crew members, but one can hardly tell what precisely this or that astronaut has requested. "We observe the confidentiality principle. There is, so to speak, the leader who speaks for the whole crew," the IMBP expert explained.
Of course, cosmonauts and astronauts will envoy a variety of sweets. "Chocolate is a standard item in the psychological support kit, in which relatives may add products of their own choice," Agureyev noted. Such parcels might include honey, dragee, other kinds of sweets, tea and, often mustard and horseradish source.
"The food packages take into account the astronaut's preferences which their families know well," he went on to say.
But fried or boiled food is out of the question. Many cosmonauts complain that they missed fried potatoes or dumplings in space. "There were attempts to deliver dumplings canned or in water-filled packages, Agureyev said but the taste of space dumplings differs greatly from what it is on Earth, and it is the Earth taste that the space crews are missing.
"With prescribed diet, there are always wishes, but these wishes can only be granted upon return to Earth" the IMBP expert said.
The Progress M-20M is due to blast off at 00:45, Moscow time, on July 28. It will dock with the ISS six hours after the launch at 06:26, Moscow time, on July 28.
The Russian cargo ship is bringing to the ISS a supply of fuel, oxygen, foodstuffs, research instruments and parcels for the crew. At present, pre-launch preparations of the cargo ship are underway at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.